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Going Beyond Gifted and Talented

(Image via Geniussis) I can picture the scene. I arrive home from work to be greeted by my young daughter. The end of the summer holidays hasn’t dimmed her enthusiasm; she has been sparked anew – both excited and curious. “Daddy”, she says excitedly, “I’m special: I’m gifted and talented”. Basking in a cozy glow of …

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Target Setting and Summit Fever

  (Image via Wikipedia) In his excellent real-life account, ‘Into Thin Air’, American journalist, Jon Krakauer, recounts how in 1996 he was part of a tragic Everest expedition. Krakauer, though led by world-renowned expedition leaders and climbers, unveiled a catalogue of misfortune and missteps. He retells a story of charismatic and overconfident guides under pressure …

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Learning (and Assessment) First

(Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt) We so often get assessment wrong in schools. Under perennial accountability pressures, assessment often loses it chief purpose: aiding learning. Today, in Sheffield, hundreds of teachers are gathering to discuss assessment at the ‘Learning First’ conference, headed by Dame Alison Peacock and hosted by Sheffield Hallam University, and it is timely that …

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The Mountain of Teacher Workload

  I imagine reading through the 44,000 responses to Nicky Morgan’s ‘workload challenge’ was tantamount to climbing a wind-whipped mountain for some unfortunate staff at the Department for Education. It is no doubt ironic that it compares with the angst-inducing marking pile of many of those teachers who took their precious time to respond to the ‘challenge’. Still, …

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